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game preview

Capitals at Islanders preview

Samsonov to make NHL debut in goal for Washington; Eberle leads New York offense

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

CAPITALS (1-0-0) at ISLANDERS (0-0-0)



The Game

Ilya Samsonov will make his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Friday.

The 22-year-old goalie was a first-round pick (No. 22) by the Capitals in the 2015 NHL Draft. He went 20-16-1 with a 2.70 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage in 37 games for Hershey of the American Hockey League last season.

The Capitals opened their season with a 3-2 overtime win at the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

New York is playing its first game of the season and the first of 28 games at Nassau Coliseum. The other 13 home games will be played at Barclays Center.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz did not say whether Thomas Greiss or Semyon Varlamov would be the starting goalie.


Players to watch

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored his 659th NHL goal Wednesday. He had 51 goals in 81 games last season.

Islanders forward Jordan Eberle scored four goals in the preseason. He had five goals over the final seven regular-season games last season and scored in each game of New York's four-game sweep against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round.


They said it

"Some little different looks from them, and the same with ourselves, just different personnel obviously involved and fewer guys that are connected to our former Caps era. It'll have a different look to it, but obviously it's going to be an intense, emotional game here in Nassau." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

"A good way to start it off against obviously a great team, one that had a pretty good game against St. Louis to start us off. It'll be nice to be at home for us and have our fans behind us and getting that atmosphere going. It's just the beginning of another season that we're all really excited about." -- Islanders captain Anders Lee


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Chandler Stephenson -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Jonas Siegenthaler -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Martin Fehervary -- Radko Gudas

Ilya Samsonov

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Tyler Lewington, Travis Boyd

Injured: Michal Kempny (hamstring)

Suspended: Evgeny Kuznetsov


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Michael Dal Colle -- Brock Nelson -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Derick Brassard -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Thomas Greiss

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Noah Dobson, Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl

Injured: Andrew Ladd (knee)


Status report

Kuznetsov will serve the second of a three-game suspension for inappropriate conduct during the offseason. … Reirden said it's likely Kempny will not play until sometime next week. … Cizikas, who was injured in the third period of a 4-2 preseason win against the New York Rangers on Sept. 28, was a full participant at the morning skate and will play. … Trotz said the team is being cautious with Dobson, who "tweaked something" during training camp. The 19-year-old defenseman participated in the morning skate. "For right now, it's a decision based on opponent and maybe where he is," Trotz said. "He's just putting some stuff in the bank right now."


Stat pack

The line of Eller, Vrana and Oshie combined for four points and 12 shots on goal Wednesday. … The Islanders did not allow a goal in eight of the final nine periods they played against the Capitals last season.

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